Some of you have already started your 2020-2021 school year while others are just gearing up. This is normally a time of mixed emotions (excitement, curiosity, anxiety, etc), and those feelings are likely to be intensified during the COVID pandemic. In lieu of our typical All is Well Wednesday post, here are some tips to make this transition a little smoother.
Some have decided to attend school virtually this fall. Some may be enrolling in traditional home-school. And, some, although attending in-person, may have to switch to in-home school for a period of time. Having a space dedicated to school in the home will help maintain a positive learning environment. Have needed supplies readily available. Consider what your child will need. For example, do they have enough space to work? Is there reliable internet access? Be sure to talk to your school about concerns.
I recommend each child keep a planner/agenda. Write down daily schedule, assignments, reminders.
Headphones or earbuds may also be useful, especially with multiple people working at once. Over the ear headphones help protect hearing and may have noise cancellation properties to help tune out distractions.
Maintain a routine. It may be tempting to stay in bed and go to class in your pajamas. Try not to do that. Get up as usual. Take some time to get dressed, eat breakfast, brush your teeth and stretch before beginning your school day. Also, don’t forget to take regular breaks during the day. Step away from the screen and take a few minutes to walk around and stretch your muscles. Get some sunshine, drink plenty of water and eat nutritious foods each day.
Wash hands. This is one of the most powerful disease fighters we have. Washing with soap and warm water is ideal but alcohol based hand sanitizer can also be used.
Practice wearing masks before returning to school. If your child is not used to wearing a mask and will be required to do so when at school, start practicing wearing it at home. Start small with 5 minute trials and gradually increase. Try completing a task while wearing a mask. Make sure the mask fits appropriately, not too small or too tight. This will reduce the urge to touch or play with it.
Get flu vaccines. All children 6 months and up are advised to be vaccinated against seasonal flu. Get your flu shots early this year. Luckily, the flu season may be more mild than in the past. This is probably in part thanks to measures such as physical distancing and hand washing but the flu vaccine is still important.
Support each other. We would be hard pressed to find someone who has not been affected by the pandemic. Find a network of support. Look for families in similar situations. Talk about what works, what doesn’t work.
This is new for all of us and we have to adjust the situation day by day. We will get through this together. Do you have some tips or tricks or experiences to share? We would love to hear from you! In the meantime, be safe and be well!